The quarrel waxed: the gatherings summoned by the preachers were declared to be seditious; a meeting in a church ended in a threatening riot that raged round the Tolbooth, where James was sitting, and on the following day he with his Court withdrew to Linlithgow (18th of December 1596).
It was not, however, till late in the session of 1794 that ministers laid before parliament any evidence of seditious practices.
Recourse has been had to a regulation of the year 1818, by which persons may be imprisoned or " deported " without reason assigned; and three acts of the legislature have been passed for dealing more directly with the prevalent classes of crime: (1) an Explosives Act, containing provisions similar to those in force in England; (2) a Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, which can only be applied specially by proclamation; and (3) a Criminal Law Amendment Act, of which the two chief provisions are - a magisterial inquiry in private (similar to the Scotch procedure) and a trial before three judges of the High Court without a jury.
The population generally were, however, distinctly antagonistic to Balmaceda; and this feeling had become accentuated since the 17th of August 1891, on which date he had ordered the execution of a number of youths belonging to the military college at San Lorenzo on a charge of seditious practices.
Seditious journals were suppressed; gaols and fortresses were crowded with prisoners; the upper house, which was hostile to the dictator, was deprived of its judicial powers and reconstituted on a less democratic basis (as in 1826); the district and municipal councils were dissolved and replaced by administrative commissions nominated by the Crown (Jan.